Thursday, April 1, 2010

Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Coalition Rallies Outside Industry Chemicals Conference in Baltimore

A coalition called Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families rallied outside a hotel in Baltimore's Inner Harbor where chemical industry officials were holding a conference this week. A full report in the Baltimore Sun can be read here.

The organization, which is a coalition of environmental, health, children's, worker, and public advocacy groups, has been pressing hard for TSCA chemical reform. The conference, called GlobalChem, heard speakers from industry, NGOs, and even the Executive Director of the new European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) on topics ranging from REACH to international regulations. But mostly it focused on TSCA reform and what industry might expect as Senator Lautenberg moves towards reintroduction of his Kid Safe Chemicals Act.

While Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families was outside, one of the major founders of the coalition, Richard Denison of Environmental Defense Fund, was inside as an invited speaker. Denison, well known to the industry for his very active work on the HPV Challenge program, provided a somewhat different perspective than the industry representatives present. He noted that even 5 years after the voluntary HPV program was "complete," only 60% of the chemicals had actually had full data dossiers provided.

As I mentioned yesterday, there seems to be quite a bit of distance in the details between what the NGOs want to see in a new law and what industry sees. More on this in upcoming days.

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